Microsoft + Activision Blizzard: The CMA Is Adamant!

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has used the example of Microsoft’s previous significant acquisition to explain why it is not fond of approving the Activision Blizzard takeover, which can cost nearly $70 billion…


In a new issues statement, the CMA highlighted the problems with the US tech giant’s takeover of the publishing conglomerate (of which mobile King is a part): “Financial modelling of the merger suggests that the merged entity’s incentive to foreclose Sony may be considerably stronger than suggested by the parties. Microsoft’s past business practices suggest that it may be willing to make losses in the short term to build scale and increase its user base.”

The keyword is “past business practices”: the CMA implicitly suggests that Bethesda’s games will leave PlayStation at the earliest opportunity with the acquisition of ZeniMax Media. Starfield and Redfall are two prime examples of it: neither has been confirmed to receive a PlayStation 5 version. According to the CMA, Call of Duty would be multiplatform solely to avoid criticism from Microsoft because they “did not identify any persuasive evidence that Microsoft would be deterred from engaging in total or partial foreclosure strategies by the prospect of reputational damage to Xbox or [Call of Duty].”

The CMA says Call of Duty’s Xbox exclusivity would influence consumers’ choice of console and harm Sony’s competition with Microsoft, not only by having a detrimental effect on the overall market competition but ultimately harming consumers. It highlights the negatives that consolidation in the gaming industry can bring (it also applies to Sony, by the way: Bungie’s next game is almost sure to miss out on Xbox!). The parties have until October 28 to respond to the CMA.

The UK may not accept Microsoft’s offer for Activision Blizzard. We do not yet know what the European Commission will decide.

Source: Gamesindustry

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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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